Democrats reportedly held a “secret meeting” on September 1st, while Congress was on recess, to determine Nancy Pelosi’s replacement.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the No. 5 House Democrat, is reportedly a top candidate to replace Pelosi as the top House Democrat.
Jeffries allegedly met with House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and likely secured Clyburn’s support to become the next leader of House Democrats.
Top Democrats 'held secret meeting on picking candidates to REPLACE Nancy Pelosi' https://t.co/NAHWjCGWiM
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) November 4, 2022
The race to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the leader of House Democrats may have been clinched at a meeting in the Capitol on Sept. 1.
That’s when House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York slipped back to Washington to connect in Clyburn’s office during the summer congressional recess at Jeffries’ request.
Jeffries, the fifth-ranking House Democrat who aspires to be the first-ranking House Democrat in the next Congress, was picking up heightened chatter from colleagues about California Rep. Adam Schiff’s outreach expressing his own interest in the top caucus job.
The 52-year-old Jeffries was concerned enough that he offered to fly to South Carolina to seek the counsel of the 82-year-old Clyburn. The younger lawmaker wanted to gently make sure his elder in the Congressional Black Caucus knew of Schiff’s quiet campaign — and to even more gently warn Clyburn about the risk of splitting votes between them and opening a path for the ambitious Californian.
Jeffries need not have been alarmed.
“There’s nothing I would ever do to impede the progress of our up-and-coming young Democrats and I see him as an up-and-coming young Democrat,” Clyburn said in an interview about Jeffries. “He knows that, I didn’t have to tell him that — but I did.”
Asked if he would be willing to serve in an emeritus role in the leadership, Clyburn said he is “willing to do anything the caucus thinks is to their benefit,” noting that Jeffries has “referred to me as a mentor.”
It’s widely believed Nancy Pelosi will step down from her position should Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives.
The Blaze noted:
It is widely expected that if Democrats lose control of the House (which is almost certain), then Pelosi will step down from her position — even if she wins reelection to Congress.
Pelosi has led the party for nearly 20 years, but at 83 years of age, many in the party believe it could be the right time for new leadership. Still, her fundraising prowess alone (she has raised more than $1.25 billion for Democrats during her tenure as leader, according to the New York Times) will make her difficult to beat if she does not willingly concede control of the party.
But if she does, Democrats believe Jeffries could be the perfect fit for their party.
Democratic lawmakers who spoke with Politico described Jeffries as their “best option as leader because he’s the rare member who’s proficient at both the outside and inside game, skilled enough to carry the party’s message on television but also attuned to his colleague’s needs and wants,” the news outlet explained.